Turkish forces launched airstrikes on suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, close to the border with Syria, on Monday, October 7, and overnight on Tuesday, October 8. The attack killed 12 militants. The operation reportedly aimed at preventing Kurdish forces from using the cross-border point to send reinforcements to northeast Syria, where Turkey is preparing to launch a military operation in an attempt to expel Syrian Kurdish (People's Protection Units; YPG) forces from the Turkish border.
Additional Turkish cross-border airstrikes targeting PKK militants are possible in northern Iraq in the near term.
Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK, which was renewed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey. Turkish forces have reportedly killed dozens of PKK militants in northern Iraq since the beginning of their offensive against Kurdish militants in the region in March 2018.
Individuals in northern Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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